It was on this date, June 22, in the year 2008 that America — and the world — lost one of its most brilliant satirists.
Although often shockingly profane and best known for his “Seven Dirty Words You Can’t Say on Television” routine, George Denis Patrick Carlin was far more than a cranky potty mouth. With a Twain-like wit and a verbal acuity that would have made William F. Buckley emulous (Go ahead. Look it up.), Carlin was a blazingly bitter — and biting — critic of hypocrisy, injustice, materialism and tyranny in all its myriad forms. And he was damned funny. It was a testament to his timeless brilliance that, even at age 71, his 14th (and final) stand-up special for HBO, It’s Bad for Ya, garnered top ratings and later won him a posthumous Grammy for Best Comedy Album of the year.
Although a master of the long-form comedy routine, Carlin was also quite adept at the “one-liner.” In honor of the fourth anniversary of The Master’s passing, here are 10 Carlinisms to help you end your week with style:
“Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.”
“A house is just a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff.”
“If the Cincinnati Reds were really the first major league baseball team, who did they play?”
“Honesty may be the best policy, but it’s important to remember that apparently, by elimination, dishonesty is the second-best policy.”
“The very existence of flamethrowers proves that sometime, somewhere, someone said to themselves, ‘You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I’m just not close enough to get the job done.’”
“You know the good part about all those executions in Texas? Fewer Texans.”
“‘One thing leads to another’? Not always. Sometimes one thing leads to the same thing. Ask an addict.”
“The reason they call it the American Dream is because you have to be asleep to believe it.”
“When someone is impatient and says, ‘I haven’t got all day,” I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day?”
“I think, therefore I am. I think.”
Have a great weekend!